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Rolling pin questions

JCook233 Nov 15, 2013 06:14 AM

I am new to baking, and I want to buy an inexpensive, non-stick pin. I will be using this pin only for bread dough and pizza dough. I will NOT be using the pin to make pastry.

I saw a plastic pin that looks as if it may meet my needs. Can any of you tell me if there are problems associated with using a plastic rolling pin to roll out bread and pizza dough?

I also saw some pins that are called "fondant" rolling pins. Can fondant pins also be used for rolling out bread dough?

Also, what is the best length pin for rolling out a 14" pizza? Does the pin have to be at least 14" long? Or can I use a shorter pin and just roll twice to cover the extra dough?

  1. coll Nov 15, 2013 06:41 AM

    You usually don't roll out pizza, you stretch it by hand. Not sure how it would come out otherwise.

    I have a short pin that I got back in the 1970s and I thought it was fine. However, I recently invested in one that is over 20 inches long (I think they are called a French pin?) and I don't know how I ever lived without it. I got it at Bed Bath and Beyond.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll
      Alan408 Nov 15, 2013 06:51 AM

      A local pizzaria agrees with you. They claim rolling the dough crushes the air pockets making a dense crust

      1. re: Alan408
        coll Nov 15, 2013 07:14 AM

        Thanks, I was just thinking all the pizza joints I've been in all my life and I know I've never seen a rolling pin! You put the yeast in to make it rise, so why would you want to squish it then?

    2. j
      JCook233 Nov 15, 2013 07:19 AM

      Thank you for the pizza information.

      How about for bread dough? Would a plastic rolling pin or a fondant pin be okay?

      2 Replies
      1. re: JCook233
        coll Nov 15, 2013 07:43 AM

        You usually punch down bread dough between risings. With your fist!

        1. re: JCook233
          Alan408 Nov 15, 2013 08:00 AM

          I don't roll bread dough

          Fondant is cake icing

        2. tcamp Nov 15, 2013 07:30 AM

          Doesn't sound like you need a pin at all if pizza dough and bread are your plan. Bread doesn't need rolling either.

          If you are in a pinch, you can always use a clean wine bottle to do a bit of rolling.

          1. DuffyH Nov 19, 2013 08:02 PM

            I just began baking this summer. I mostly bake pizza and bread, rarely cookies or biscuits and NEVER pastry. I don't use a rolling pin at all. I shape pizza skins and bread loaves by hand.

            My pizzas are works of art, in that each one is unique, none are quite round, some are almost triangular, but they all look gorgeous when they come out of the oven. My pizza shaping technique is a work in progress, but it feels good to keep trying.

            When bread calls for shaping into a certain size for loaves or rolls, I use my hands to pat, stretch and coax it into the needed dimensions.

            Happy baking!

            3 Replies
            1. re: DuffyH
              JCook233 Nov 20, 2013 12:37 PM

              I want to make a very thin crust. Wouldn't a rolling pin be helpful for getting the crust extra-thin?

              1. re: JCook233
                coll Nov 20, 2013 12:57 PM

                No, you have to learn to stretch it, that's all.

                1. re: JCook233
                  DuffyH Nov 20, 2013 02:16 PM

                  In pizza, I do very thin and really, really thin. Both are simply stretched into whatever shape they're willing to achieve, although they are getting much closer to round as my skill improves.

                  The difference in thickness is entirely doe to the age of the dough when I make the pie. A younger dough, about 18-24 hours old, is very thin, with nice big bubbles. The older dough, 3-5 days, is almost cracker thin, with far fewer bubbles. it's a little past it's prime, but makes an excellent pie all the same.

                  The older dough is the easiest to stretch into shape, as it has very little elasticity left. It doesn't snap back like the younger dough does.

              2. p
                pine time Nov 20, 2013 01:01 PM

                If I do say so myself, I make a mean piecrust, using a rolling pin.

                However, I never roll pizza or bread dough. I find that gentle stretching of those doughs works much better.

                1. a
                  Alan408 Nov 20, 2013 03:33 PM

                  Best length would be what is comfortable for you. The pin doesn't have to be at least 14" long, depending on you, ergonomics may or may not be an issue, I recommend the width of the pin is less than your inside grip, probably 10-12". Height (diameter) of the pin, 3". Wood finish, dusting with flour will keep the pin "non-stick".

                  Roll the dough outwards (from the center/middle) to an inch or so wider than your goal, the dough may contract.

                  For rolled dough, a local pizza place uses a machine to roll their dough, then they "run over" their dough with a spiked roller. This pokes holes in the dough.

                  As mentioned previously, a wine or similarly shaped bottle works in a pinch.

                  What kind of pizzas are you making?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Alan408
                    coll Nov 20, 2013 07:27 PM

                    And what kind of pizza are you talking about? Pizza Hut or Dominos? Because I never in my life saw pizza dough made on a machine with a spiked roller...if I did, I'd be out the door, laughing! Sounds like Willie Wonka ;-)

                    1. re: coll
                      Alan408 Nov 21, 2013 06:42 AM

                      Pizza Factory

                      They have a dough sheeter similar to Ca Pizza Kitchen. They run a ball of dough through a machine that rolls the dough flat. They lay the flat dough on a perforated pizza pan. They run over the dough with a spiked roller, trim the crust the apply toppings.

                      1. re: Alan408
                        coll Nov 21, 2013 09:33 AM

                        Well that's interesting. Does it come out flat too? Or does it puff up afterwards?

                        The only pizza I've seen with holes punched in before is frozen. It helps it cook faster.

                  2. tim irvine Nov 20, 2013 05:59 PM

                    Regardless of your current planned uses, I believe a wood French pin is a great thing to gave around, and they are not pricey.

                    1. yayadave Nov 20, 2013 08:00 PM

                      Here are a couple of examples of why you don’t need a rolling pin for bread and pizza. There are many, many more demonstrations.


                      Apparently, you can do the bread while the kids run through the kitchen, too.

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